As selectivity wanes, GW Law School receives third-most applications

Among law schools nationwide, the GW Law School received the third-most for the Class of 2017. Hatchet File Photo.
Among law schools nationwide, the GW Law School received the third-most applications for the Class of 2016. Hatchet File Photo.
The GW Law School is bringing in more applications than most other law schools in the country, even as interest in legal education nationwide continues to fall.

The school received the third-highest number of applications for fall 2013, according to a U.S. News and World Report list released this week. It earned the same place on U.S. News’ list of popular law schools last year.

GW, ranked No. 20 in the nation overall, received 6,005 full-time applications, putting the school behind neighboring Georgetown University, which received 7,257 applications, and the University of Virginia, which brought in 6,048.

While the school attracted more applications than most of its competitors, its total number of applications declined last year for the fifth application cycle in a row.

And the school accepted 762 more students last year than the year before, raising its acceptance rate by 13 percentage points. GW accepted 42 percent of applicants last year, compared to 17 percent in 2004.

The school’s yield rate – the number of students who accept an offer of admission – has also dropped to 16.7 percent, the lowest the school has seen in a decade.

After accepting a smaller-than-average class in 2012, GW enrolled 484 students this past year. The additional tuition dollars helped fund school programs, including one that gives stipends to recent graduates who take short-term, unpaid legal jobs.

Blake D. Morant will take over the GW Law School in September. Photo courtesy of GW media relations.
Blake D. Morant will take over the GW Law School in September. Photo courtesy of GW media relations.

The school saw its average LSAT score drop two points to 165, while its average GPA increased from 3.60 to 3.71 last year.

When the school comes under new leadership this fall, Dean Blake D. Morant will have to decide how the school should adjust to the changing law school admissions climate.

Moody’s Investor Services predicts that law schools will not see application numbers rebound, though most schools have not announced formal changes to their business models to adapt to waning interest.

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